The Work Of Shaun Jacques

Muse 13/11/2009 – London O2 Arena

Now here’s something new for the blog…When I have spare time (as you may already know) I love to go to live concerts and anybody that knows me very well knows that Muse are the band I have always wanted to see live more than any other. Last Friday that opportunity was finally here, The expectations of what I was expecting were huge considering how much I love their studio albums and what I have heard of their live shows in the past and what I had seen on television and YouTube, Was I expecting too much? Could they possibly reach my high expectations in this one show?

They opened up with latest single (I.E guaranteed crowd pleaser) Uprising, The energy in the place was apparent straight from the opening riff, I felt like everybody in the arena was singing along. Muse then played the title track from their new album ‘The Resistance’ which is personally my favourite from that particular album. Muse then went into some older, more ‘rocky’ tracks (New Born & Map Of The Problamatique) These tracks have been a part of my life for years but I felt disappointed that they didn’t receive the kind of reaction that the two new songs had received (possibly because it’s fresh in people’s memories, possibly a sign of the new audience) of course the crowd reacted in screams when ‘SuperMassive Black Hole’ played straight away afterwards. The London crowd was then ‘treated’ and yes I truly mean treated to a rare performance of MK Ultra.

The intro to this song is instantly recognisable and the second I heard I shouted with joy (to the bemusement of my friend standing next to me) I could see several other fan boys getting very excited by the introduction of this song, but again little reaction from the ‘Twilight fan base’ as a friend put it. Hysteria was the next track to be played keeping to the more technical theme.

I can’t believe I have got this far in the review without mentioning the stage setup. The setup is something I hadn’t seen from any band thus far, the images on screen during certain songs where so suited to the song It’s now hard to imagine the song without them (such as the drowning man in Time Is Running Out) The stages themselves moved fairly frequently with ‘slower songs’ seeing the stage raised (such as United States Of Eurasia) and ‘faster songs seeing the stage lowered so the band could move about on stage (exampled by Matt Bellamy’s skipping in Knights Of Cydonia)

After Hysteria the stage was raised for ‘United States of Eurasia’ This slowed the pace of the avid pit going fan down and were played a (surely queen inspired) ballad from the resistance album. This was followed by another rarity from Muse’s back catalogue ‘Cave’ admittedly not my favourite from the showbiz album (I’d have paid extra on the promise of muscle museum) It was interesting to see how the song has evolved over the years. Ten years from its official release it seemed to have evolved in that timeframe as the live version seemed to be adding a lot to the original recorded version)This was followed by ‘Guiding Light’ and (Justin Timberlake inspired?) ‘Undisclosed Desires’ Muse then went into real crowd pleaser mode, playing arguably their most famous songs in order (Starlight, Plug In Baby and Time Is Running Out) Plug in baby was easily my favourite song of the night, that was the song that turned me from a casual muse listener to a muse ‘self confessed’ superfan, to see it live made me feel about twelve years old again when I was really discovering the rock music scene. Good times! Muse then closed their set with technical masterpiece, ‘Unnatural selection’

Of course as anyone who’s ever been to a gig knows there was the small matter of the encore to contend with. Muse returned to play the first part of possibly their most ambitious track to date ‘Exogenesis’ Matt Bellamy shown of his trademark ‘Falsetto’ voice in fine style before kicking in with ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ The band then ended their set with ‘Guitar Hero fans favourite’ Knights of Cydonia (Complete with ‘Man with a harmonica’ introduction) This song emphasised how good this gig was like no other, the energy the chants of ‘do, do, do, dooooooooo, da, da, da, etc…..’ during the build up were almost deafening. The on stage presence of the band was on full show they seemed to be really enjoying themselves on stage; the lightshow was perfect for the song. I can’t think of a better way to close the show. I doubt anyone left the 02 Arena that night disappointed, there are only 2 negative points I can take away from that night.

  1. I will NEVER buy a seating ticket for as long as I live, It’s just not the same I didn’t have the same ‘buzz’ that I would have got If I was amongst the standing crowd, It felt very weird sitting next to parents and their children (curse standing tickets selling out in 5 minutes)
  2. I wish that Muse played a few more ‘classic’ and more ‘ambitious’ songs. As mentioned I would have loved to have seen ‘Muscle Museum’ and I would have died a happy man if either ‘citizen erased ‘or ‘fury’ were given a showing but I suppose it just wasn’t right to play those songs on this night…I mean it is ‘the resistance’ tour at the end of the day and the set list should reflect that, but still one can dream….

In conclusion I don’t feel like this will be my Last Muse gig it felt fantastic to finally see this band after so many years. But also it made me feel really excited about all the events I have coming up to see if any of them can surpass this one.

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